SPH launches on WeChat app

Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes the Lianhe Zaobao Chinese newspaper in Singapore, is the latest publisher to venture into social apps, launching six new channels on the WeChat messaging service on Wednesday.

WeChat, which is popular in China, has 438 million active users in China and across the world. The service includes text messaging, voice chat and broadcast-style messaging from one person to a large audience.

Lianhe Zaobao’s new WeChat accounts are focused on lifestyle, travel, education, food and finance in Singapore and the region.

Each account will broadcast photographs and links to news articles to subscribers each day, and the tone of the content will be more casual than regular editorial content, taking in horoscopes, tarot readings, Feng Shui analysis and jokes.

“WeChat … has garnered a following in Singapore,” Lianhe Zaobao editor Goh Sin Teck said.

“We hope to provide readers with more relevant and categorised lifestyle information [which] can be shared conveniently on the various social media platforms.”

Lianhe Zaobao is the largest-circulating Chinese newspaper in Singapore. Its publisher Singapore Press Holdings was established in 1984 and also owns online classifieds, radio stations and a chain of convenience stores.

Print publishers are increasingly teaming up with popular social media platforms in an effort to reach a wider audience or provide content tailored to a younger readership.

The Daily Mail recently partnered with Snapchat in launching the platform’s Discover feature, which allows publishers to create “editions,” or packages of stories that disappear after 24 hours.

Stories in each edition could be full articles or a collection of video stories, but they would be inaccessible following the 24-hour period in line with Snapchat’s focus on short-lived, simple messaging.

Snapchat has been previously reported as having an average of nearly 200 million monthly users, the majority of which are female, and between the ages of 13 and 25.

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